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The body as a non-natural interface
In order to address the complexity of being and having a body in advanced capitalism we need a generative and fictive metaphor because so many of the forces that dominate and shape our bodies pretend to be natural when they are not. Within these power relations lets work with the body as a non-natural interface; a site of transparency and hyper-relationality. In positing the body as a non-natural interface, we could begin to not only critically deconstruct and fuck with hegemonic notions of the body, but also to explore the aesthetic, social and political possibilities of resistance that emerge when we reconcile with its constructed-ness.
We will begin by taking a brief inventory of contemporary "human" techniques, including but not limited to somatic practices, psychology and psychiatry. Let’s quickly get acquainted with some "techniques of the self" that too often function as authoritative systems, machinating the body with naturalising narratives of subjectivity enhancement, re-inscribing sameness, productivity, and alignment with normativity, however seemingly well intentioned. What does this paradoxical dance look like?
Feeling coded, conditioned and trained? Tired of endlessly polishing your subjectivity as the new commodity? No worries, the combination of feminism, science fiction and world making can help. Our next step will be to build a body on new terms, our terms, as a diagnostic, creative and open framework to process the incomprehensible present. We will get crafty and create maps on the floor of the forces that machinate and influence our bodies eventually using that as a meta score to work with. We can invent impossible therapies to better become what we have become. "It gets better!?!?" We can create scores to perform ourselves, future folk dances that temporally dispossess ourselves from our selves. We can employ fiction’s capacities to tell the truth with lies – thus allowing us to warp time, scale and perspective until we arrive at strange new vantage points. This workshop is a generative experiment, allowing us to renegotiate the natural, authentic and normative body through the filter of queer, feminist, post humanist and disability scholarship. Side effects may include: sensitising, scanning, tuning, visualising, re-mapping, scoring, improvising, and exploring the potential of our non-natural bodies as hyper relational interfaces dancing and making things happen without constraints of the "real".
ArtistBio: Jeremy Wade